During her leadership of the UCLA Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS), Allison Carruth was an executive producer of a yearlong digital series developed in partnership with KCET—the leading PBS organization in the country's largest media market. The series tackled themes of urban ecology and environmental justice in Southern California.

In collaboration with KCET, LENS faculty and students developed dozens of digital articles, along with two documentary films. Several articles were cross-published by national outlets such as City Lab, Civil Eats and Wired. The documentaries premiered at an annual environmental film festival convened by KCET.

Launched in 2017, the project considered California as a living lab for exploring the histories and horizons of urban planning, urban biodiversity, sustainable food and water, environmental equity and multispecies justice. The LENS team represented a range of UCLA departments and programs, including Anthropology; English; Environmental Science; Geography; and the School of Theater, Film and Television. Since the initial series, LENS has continued to advise and contribute to KCET’s environmental reporting and documentary television series “Earth Focus.

The three storylines

Series executive producers: Allison Carruth and Juan Devis (KCET Chief Creative Officer)
Documentary directors: Jon Christensen, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, Ursula K. Heise, Yubo Wang and Stefan Wanigatunga
Published on KCET (2017-2018)

Documentary Films

Taylor Yard: A Change of Heart in Los Angeles


urban ark